Minca and surroundings: what to do and where to stay?
Minca is a small but well-travelled town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the Northern part of colombia. In recent years tourism has grown a lot, and there are many things to undertake, basically outdoor activities. We noticed visitors head off to this little town to hike, visit coffee farms, enjoy magnificent views, swim and jump in one of the many waterfalls including Pozo azul and Marinka waterfalls, or just wander through the tropical forests trying to get a glimpse from a tucan, monkey or colibri. We heard a lot of great stories about Minca so we had high expectations 🙂
Another guy who stayed in Finca Carpe Diem wrote a helpful blog of things to do in Minca. Therefore I keep it with the accomodation options and must-done hostels.
View from Finca Carpe Diem, Paso del Mango. Must-see hostel near Minca.
Hostels in Minca
As tourism has grown rapidly, hostels have spread out as mushrooms, mainly in and around Minca township. We decided to overnight in several guesthouses in Minca, and definitely enjoyed the hostels Casa Loma and Oscar’s place the most….
Cabaña at Casa Loma
View from Casa Loma
Casa Loma is a hostel and offers accomodation beautifully located on a hill towering over Minca and Santa Marta. You need a 10 minute tough hike from Minca center to reach Casa Loma. Casa Loma offers great views over the entire region. There are always plenty of other travelers – mainly backpackers – who are keen to have nice conversations. If it gets boring you just sit down and enjoy the views with a nice drink :). The food is delicious, basically vegetarian dishes. Casa Loma would be our first choice for young travelers – like ourselves – looking for a great stay in short walking distance from Minca town. The staff is extremely helpful to get you on the right track. Here you can find their website.
Sunset, not far from Oscar’ place
Oscar’s place is another nice hostel in Minca runned by an older and friendly Colombian guy. It is a bit out of the way of the center – you have to walk for 15 minutes following a dunkey trail – reaching his secluded land with a majestic view over Santa Marta. In Oscar’s place you feel very welcomed by the local owner and you get the sense of being in the middle of nature. Oscar’s place is one of the more basic hostel options in Minca, and it is not as big as Casa Loma. If you decide to go to Oscar’s place bear in mind that it can be loud at nighttime with other young foreigners drinking and smoking. We would recommend it for any traveller looking for a space to hang out, and enjoy great evenings with other young folks.
Hostels around Minca
View near Casa Elemento
It takes a small effort to reach Casa Elemento. Located 30 minutes up a bumpy road from Minca with a motorbike – pretty expensive though we paid 30,000 pesos – reaching Casa Elemnto was quite an adventure. The place towers over the surrounding mountains and is truly one of the most fabulous settings for a hostel you can image. Food is great but rather expensive for what you get. Though understandable if you see the effort it takes to bring all food up the mountain. For us, the only real downside of the story was that it seemed to attract basically or only party people looking for festivities all night long. Though, we can image that it must be one of the most incredible places on the continent to hang out if you are in a partymood. At least it is different to the bars and nightlife you find in Santa Marta and Taganga. Watching the stars in the middle of the night with a beer in your hands and Santa Marta below you….a must-do! We did some nice hikes in the neighborhood, heard howler monkeys and kept on being fascinated by the views. So even if you do not like the partystuff we would still recommend you to check out Casa elemento in case you are in Minca.
Paso del mango and Finca Carpe Diem
Starting from Casa Loma in Minca we undertook the 6-hours hike to Paso del Mango. There we found a less touristic but ooow so beautiful hostel / boutique Finca Carpe Diem. You can also reach this hostel with a motorbike from Minca town, which costs 25,000 pesos and takes one hour or so. Finca Carpe Diem is covered by mango trees and forest giants and is located just besides a river that is at several places deep enough to swim. There is a swimming pool just besides the rooms and annexing farm with dozens of fruit trees and animals. They also provide coffee, cacao and bee tours. There were quite a few other visitors – a mix of Colombian and foreign travelers -, and all seemingly agreed they had finally having found a place that they were looking for in Minca town but did not find there. Carpe Diem is an oasis of tranquility, there is a courtyard with overhanging banana trees and besides the swimming pool you find papaya and lemon trees…a garden of Eden. There are more basic acommodation options as well as comfortable luxury cabañas. Carpe Diem staff tries to use as much ingredients from the farm as possible to make impressing dishes. Daily you can choose in between fish, meat and vegetarian meals. We stayed five days in Finca Carpe Diem, a unique relaxation therapy 🙂
Waterfall near Finca Carpe Diem, paso del Mango, around Minca
View from Finca Carpe Diem over Santa Marta, Paso del Mango, around Minca
Swimming pool @ Finca Carpe diem, Paso del Mango, near Minca
There are a lot of options to overnight in and around Minca
Minca is well travelled and there are many accommodation options. However, I recommend all travelers to not only stay in Minca but also discover accommodation options and activities around Minca. For this, Paso del Mango is an excellent option and Finca Carpe Diem is a great place to be.
A nice new 4-bed dorm. The room is located in the second house on top of a hill with a small swimming pool and spectacular mountain view. The room comes with air conditioning, first quality mattresses and mosquito nets. The room is located 100 mts from the restaurant and reception following a beautiful stonen path,
Nice brand new dorm (2018) for 4 people, perfect for the budget traveller. The dorm is also great for backpackers who like to meet other people and are looking to do hikes and activities around the finca during the day and sleep peacefully and comfortably during the night.
A spacious brand new tent with two compartiments (one for luggage 1 x 1 mts; one for sleeping 2,3 x 2,3 mts) next to the river under the mango trees. Spacious, nice and calm atmosphere. Not far from the swimming pools and main facilities.